Balochistan Highlights 2018: An Overview of Major Steps

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As another year ends, the Balochistan Government strives towards achieving its goals for the people of Balochistan. The year 2018 was a tricky one with certain ups and downs in the government as the Pakistan General Elections took place and a new government took charge in the second half of the year. However, the province managed to accomplish some commendable milestones in 2018 which have helped in its development.

Ringing in the New Year was the Desalination Plant in Gwadar which became operational on the 1st of January. The plant was installed by China Overseas Port Holding Company under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and has the capacity of producing 254,000 gallons of clean drinking water. Moreover, the surrender of 200 anti-state separatists in January was another step towards promotion of peace in the province. Also, for the first time in the history of Pakistan, seven senators in the Senate were elected from Balochistan.

In February, the PPL Balochistan Football Cup 2018 was held which was the country’s largest sponsored football tournament. The matches took place in Quetta, Makran, Kalat, Sibi, Naseerabad and Zhob. The five day Sibi Mela was another internationally recognized event in this month which was attended by people from all over the world.

Balochistan entered March with celebrations of Baloch Culture Day and a three day Makran sports and cultural festival on 2nd of March. Furthermore, the inauguration of Cadet College Turbat and the Turbat-Buleda road were two big achievements which will aid the province in its developmental growth and success.

One of the main achievements of the province in April was the declaration of Dr Jumma Khan Marri and his followers to join the mainstream Pakistan and work together with the government of Balochistan for its prosperity. The National Security Workshop, organized by the Government of Balochistan in collaboration with Southern Command Pakistan Army to address the issues of security, was held for a duration of two weeks. The 3rd Innovation Summit was also successfully held in this month.

The month of May was quite eventful for the development of the province. The Afghan border fencing was inaugurated in Panjgur, which is a huge step for Balochistan towards solving its security issues as well as in ceasing the illegal activities that take place through the border. Also, a water supply scheme was put in motion in Mach.

The inauguration of Quetta campus of National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and the Safe City project are also great initiatives taken by the Government in the education and security sector. Equally important is the raising of Eagle Squad Force in Quetta for maintaining peace in the city. Moreover, a Women and Children Hospital, National Incubation Center at BUITEMS and the expansion of Quetta International Airport were also successfully achieved.

On 23rd July 2018, the Pakistan General Elections took place and a new Government took charge in the following months. Chairman PTI Imran Khan became the Prime Minister and Dr. Arif Alvi became the President of Pakistan. Mir Jam Kamal Khan was elected as the Chief Minister of Balochistan with Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) emerging as the majority to form the provincial government.

The new government has shown efforts in working for the betterment of the province at a fast pace. An Onion frying Plant was launched in Awaran at the start of October to boost the economy of the province. Anti-measles and anti-polio campaigns were also launched successfully in the province as an attempt towards resolving health issues.

A much needed Education Complaint Management System was inaugurated to help improve the quality of education for the students of Balochistan. Side by side, a Delivery unit was raised in order to ensure justice in the government systems so that corruption can be curtailed. The Chief Minister also inaugurated the registrations for ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme’, so that the lower to middle class people of the province can afford their own houses.

November proved fortunate for the achievements in the sports sector of Balochistan. The OGDCL Squash League was a successful event played in Balochistan, in which sportsmen from all over the world participated. Moreover, Pakistan’s first Astro Turf Cricket Stadium was constructed and inaugurated in Chaman.

The building of Supreme Court’s registry was inaugurated in Quetta by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on 10th December, marking one of the achievements of this month. The government also launched the project of Coastal Highway Broadband coverage which will provide internet facilities throughout the Highway regions. Throughout the year, Jeep Rallies were held across Balochistan to promote the sports culture.

The year came to an end with the very successful Balochistan Excelllence Awards 2018 which took place on 25th of December. The talented people of Balochistan were appreciated and awarded for their achievements and efforts in this event.

The year of 2018 proved to be very important for Balochistan in terms of its development. Even though it is a long journey, the province is on the road to recovery, growth and excellence.

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Serwat Fatima is a design graduate from Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design. She belongs to Quetta and has interests in arts and design, creative writing and current affairs.

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